Press Release – ASEAN-IPR Research Project on Mindanao Kick-starts in Jakarta
ASEAN-IPR RESEARCH PROJECT ON MINDANAO KICK-STARTS IN JAKARTA
Jakarta, Indonesia, 7 February 2019
Trust, respect, confidence and the spirit of ASEAN. These terms are front and centre during discussions in the Preliminary Seminar on the Research Projects on Lessons Learned from a Process of Conflict Resolution between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) as Mediated by Indonesia (1993-1996). The trust, respect and confidence between the Philippines and MNLF, as well as Indonesia as the mediating party, is fundamental to the conclusion of the Final Peace Agreement (FPA).
More than forty (40) stakeholders coming from the government, academic, civil society and media participated in the Seminar, which was organised by ASEAN-IPR Indonesia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Indonesia.
Executive Director of ASEAN-IPR Rezlan Ishar Jenie highlighted that the Seminar marks one of the very first two researches to kick-start of the Institute ? pursuant to its mandate as an ASEAN institution for research on peace, conflict management conflict resolution and reconciliation. Moreover, Director-General of ASEAN Cooperation from the MFA of Indonesia H.E. Jose Tavares underlined that the peace process in Mindanao was carried out in the spirit of ASEAN solidarity. He further expressed confidence the research could very much fulfil its objective to provide reference for policy-makers in ASEAN in the maintenance of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The Seminar aimed to introduce the first steps of the research project, as well as initial findings of the research that are currently underway. Project Manager of the Research, Mr. Jamil Maidan Flores, laid out the researchs objectives, questions, hypothesis, focal points of analysis, as well as methodology. Amongst its objectives are to evaluate policies and strategies carried out by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MNLF, as well as assess if the FPA has successfully addressed the problem of secessionism.
A Panel of Discussants consisting of academes and scholars such as Dr. Rizal G. Buendia (Independent Consultant, Southeast Asian Politics and International Development), Mr. Rudy Sukandar (Habibie Centre), Mr. Naoyuki Ochiai (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and Dr. Teuku Rezasyah (Padjadjaran University), facilitated by Senior Editor of The Jakarta Post, Endy Bayuni, provided their comments, thoughts and insights to the research methodologies and initial findings.
The Research Project is supported by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN H.E. Kazuo Sunaga also highlighted importance of learning from past mistakes in order to prevent future conflict, especially in the wake of non-traditional and transnational security threats emerging.
Representative of Indonesia to the ASEAN-IPR Governing Council H.E. Artauli Tobing underscored that Indonesia will continue to spearhead more projects, be it research or capacity building, through the ASEAN-IPR framework.
ASEAN-IPR will also hold its first of a multi-year Training Series, focusing on approaches in peace process and peace building in Southeast Asia, as well as the role of mediators. The Training, spearheaded by the Philippines, will be held on 21-22 February 2019 in Manila, bringing in experts and practitioners in peace processes from the region and beyond.